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In the Neighborhood with De Marillac Academy

Kelly Salance

In our San Francisco office, employees regularly volunteer in the neighborhood with our community partners. Activities vary from helping in a dining kitchen, to sorting clothes, to playing bingo with seniors. If you ask employees about their favorite activity, each has one that generally sticks out in their mind. Carl Goldberg, a software engineer, recently visited De Marillac Academy and the experience left a lasting impact on him.

Established in 2001, De Marillac Academy provides tuition-free educations that focuses on academic excellence in a values-based environment and currently serve 119 fourth through eighth grade students.  Tutoring is an important part of De Marillac’s model as tutors are adult role models who are neither parents nor teachers. They provide the students with vital friendship, support, and guidance as they experience new academic challenges and unfamiliar social environments.

Carl and three other Zendesk employees spent the morning tutoring De Marillac Academy students with 1-on-1 reading sessions. At the end of the session, Carl was inspired by the work of De Marillac and made a significant donation to the school.  Read more about his donation on De Marillac’s blog.

Upon entering De Marillac Academy, there’s a dramatic shift from outside to inside, with an immediately warm and welcoming environment. Everyone we encountered - front-desk, administrators, teachers, students - was friendly and engaged. I was amazed by the variety and quality of their offerings to students. De Marillac seems to provide great support to current students and even to alumni as they work through high school and apply to college. Overall, I found De Marillac to be an incredible place and a beacon of hope nestled in a neighborhood that is rarely described in those terms.
— Carl Goldberg

Carl’s donation and participation at De Marillac Academy demonstrate the relationships our employees are cultivating in the neighborhood. Thank you De Marillac and Carl for your commitment to the community!

Hands on Manila - Servathon 2016

Kelly Salance

Our Manila office partnered with Hands on Manila as part of their Servathon last week.  Servathon is a flagship program of Hands On Manila that aims provides every citizen an opportunity to get ‘hands on’ and address everyday issues that affect their community. This year, we had 21 Zendesk volunteers participate from our Manila office. While there are many different projects as part of the Servathon, our team focused on addressing one particular issue, Dengue Fever.

Dengue Fever is an ongoing public health concern in the Philippines, with a 4% increase in cases in 2016 compared to 2015*.  This disease is transmitted through mosquitos that tend to live very close to people in build up areas and in places with stagnant water, which puts parts of the Philippines at high risk for transmission.

With this knowledge, we spent our Servathon day building mosquito traps to help reduce transmission. We constructed over 400 homemade mosquito traps. These traps were then distributed to various barangays in Metro Manila where these is a higher prevalence of dengue.

While we know this effort alone will not completely solve the problem, it is fulfilling to help raise awareness and increase prevention efforts. Our team loved being a part of the Servathon and looks forward to the next time we can get ‘hands on’ in the community!

Check out Hands on Manila website for more on how to you can get involved.

Madison Community Update

Kelly Salance

As summer wraps up and we look ahead towards the last part of the year, we want to take a moment to look at what our Madison office has been up to in 2016. Since the beginning of the year, our employees in Madison have logged over 860 hours with an outstanding employee engagement rate of 80%. We have partnered with 20 different organizations throughout the city who are all working to enhance the community of Madison.

One such organization is River Food Pantry, which provides hot meals, groceries, clothing, and household items to Dane County families who are struggling to make ends meet. In 2016 thus far, Zendesk employees have volunteered 183 hours with River Food Pantry, helping clients to pick-up nutritious food from the pantry and clothes from the free clothing shop.

We have also spent time at the Food Pantry Gardens helping to harvest fresh food for various non-profits. With 68 volunteer hours in the garden so far this year, this is one of our favorite activities where we get a chance to get outside, harvest pounds and pounds of potatoes and provide meaningful help for many!

Another organization we are proud to partner with is Girl Scouts of Wisconsin –Badgerland Council. As part of our initiative to increase technical literacy, we have helped to purchase supplies for their STEM Makers Kits. Having easy-to-use check out kits available is essential to expanding their outreach and getting more girls excited about STEM learning at an early age. We have also helped to fund a program that helps the troop connect with female professionals to expose the youth to STEM careers and mentors with the goal to bring hands-on STEM learning for girls of ALL ages!

This summer we have also participated in various community events around Madison. We partook in Forward Fest, Madison’s flagship technology and entrepreneurship festival, hosting a NeXXpo mixer which showcased some of Madison's most innovative businesses. 

Additionally, a colorful contingent of employees, families and friends marched around the Capitol in Madison's Pride Parade this last August. We were honored to be a part of the day, to proudly support our LGBTQ community and to march for equality, love and justice for all people. We were #OutFor community, advocacy and for many of the civil rights and LGBTQ activists who have fought to get us this far. 

Between volunteering, grant-making, and participating in various events, we are continuing to work with . With many strong community partnerships, we feel this is a reflection of our commitment to creating a meaningful impact in our neighborhood in Madison. We hope you are as excited as we are about the devoted non-profits of Madison and join us as we continue to deepen our ties in the community!

Fall HeadStart Interns Join the London Office

Kelly Salance

The HeadStart Fall Internships through Team London are well underway in our London Office! Over the last month, we have hosted two groups of youth interns in various departments including Marketing, Sales, Workplace Experience, Success and Support.

Each week the group started with a training day, learning about Zendesk both as a company and as a product.  They met with many departments including HR, Customer Support, IT and Recruiting to get a better understand of each department’s role.

As part of day one, Marc in recruitment led a workshop on how to create a LinkedIn profile including how to add Zendesk employees as the interns meet them throughout the week. At the end of the week, the interns compared profiles and determined who had built the best. While each profile was great and helping to build the interns careers, each ‘best’ profile won a prize!

The Interns are working with Marc from Recruiting to set-up LinkedIn profiles.

The Interns are working with Marc from Recruiting to set-up LinkedIn profiles.

The rest of the weeklong internship was spent with the interns learning about their respective team as well as all the other departments. As part of their internships, the Head Start youth were each ask by their team to complete a project and present on it at the end of the week. In Marketing, each intern put together a campaign including budget, venue and event details. The Support interns created a fully functioning Zendesk account and researched case studies of how customers could utilize Zendesk to fulfill their customer support needs.  

One intern on the Workplace Experience team, Vaishali, was instrumental in helping with the London office Wellness Week. She enthusiastically organized staff to make healthy snacks, answered the phone and handed out mail. She was a huge help throughout the week, taking on any task given to her.


Workplace Experience intern, Vaishali, working with Hayley in reception to answer calls and hand out mail.

Each week, we are presented with a new group of eager HeadStart interns and it has been a fantastic experience for Zendesk employees to have an opportunity to mentor as well as for the interns in gaining valuable work experiences. We are looking forward to the next group!

Community Spotlight: Marylebone Project

Kelly Salance

In 2015, the UK government street count estimated 3,569 people are experiencing homeless across England, which is double the number from 2010. Various homelessness agencies estimate 12% of rough sleepers are women but point out that this is likely to be an underestimate. There are high levels of vulnerability for this female population including increased physical danger, mental health issues, domestic violence, drug/alcohol dependencies and other traumatic life events.  

With female homelessness on the rise, it is imperative to get this susceptible population the support it needs. The Marylebone Project provides crucial support to women who have had to endure traumatic homelessness situations and empowers hundreds of women to gain independent living. The Marylebone Project is the largest women’s project in London supporting around 300 women a week through its day center and providing more than 40,000 nights of accommodation to homeless women last year.  Additionally, the organization provides education, employment and training opportunities to support their client so that women have all the resources to successfully move into independent living.  

Zendesk and Marylebone Project

Our London team regularly teams up with Marylebone Project to provide them extra help wherever they need. Most recently, a group of volunteers helped to pack 200 hygiene kits together. Each kit contains a tote bag, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, body lotion, body wash, deodorant and a towel. The kits will be handed out to the ladies using their short and long term beds, and also to any women who come in to use their drop in day center. 

How to get involved:

  •  Volunteer with Marylebone – Visit the website learn more about getting involved.
  • Donate resources and materials - Marylebone can always use donated materials as well as financial support. Learn more here
  • Order catering through Munch in Marylebone, Marylebone Project’s social enterprise.